The all-day special broadcast celebrating KPFA’s 40th anniversary continues with a documentary about Elsa Knight Thompson. Throughout the 1960’s, KPFA Public Affairs Director Elsa Knight Thompson was an extraordinary and controversial programmer. Her experience with the BBC in London during World War II and in Washington D. C. at WCFM prepared her for a scintillating career as a radio journalist at KPFA, and her direct and incisive interviews of both left and right-wing figures were... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Current Events
Charles Amirkhanian talks with one of America's most distinguished composers, Lou Harrison, whose use of gamelan instruments and interest in other musics of the world helped bring an appreciation of Pacific and Asian music to the U.S. William Colvig has collaborated with Harrison for many years, building original and gamelan-inspired instruments. The program begins with Eric Marin's film documenting Harrison & Colvig, and continues with excerpts from Harrison's Piano Concerto (featuring... Topics: Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, New Music Source: Other Minds
Charles Shere talks to Philip Winsor about his work, Sound Study I, written at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, was followed two years later with his Sound Study II, produced at the Milan Studio. Together they try to sort the differences in achievement out of the similarities of means. A classic example of a classically trained composer (Shere) trying to get his head around the process of composing electronic music. (- from the KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Phil Winsor
A Live Concert of music by Ingram Marshall, recorded in the KPFK studio in Los Angeles. After a brief introduction by the composer we hear two short pieces of sound poetry followed by the longer work, Fragility Cycles. Topics: KPFK-FM, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Ingram Marshall
In a program recorded on August 19, 1970, Charles Amirkhanian and Bill Northwood highlight upcoming shows on KPFA-FM and current events in the San Francisco Bay Area. After a couple of brief musical selections by Amirkhanian and the Ba-Benzele Pygmies of the Central African Republic, the two are joined in the studio by Richard Friedman who talks about KPFA-FM's foray into ambient field recordings with the new series, "The World Ear Project". This is followed by an excerpt of a... Topics: Sound poetry, Interview and Music, World Music, KPFA-FM
Charles Amirkhanian reports on The Expanded Ear music conference, held on April 27-29, 1973 at the Camp de Benneville Pines, in the San Bernardino National Forest. The highlight of the conference was the Six Acre Jam, performed over a hillside by about 60 musicians and no less than ten synthesizers. Join Charles as he takes a walk through the woods interviewing performers and composers, including Richard Bunger, Barry Gott, Jacques Bekaert, Nicolas Slonimsky & Dane Rudhyar, all while the... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Free Improvisation, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
Derk Richardson interviews members of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet at San Francisco’s Mission Cultural Center on June 5, 2005. They discuss the relationships of imagery to sound including the use of graphic notation in spontaneous compositions, as well as using film imagery to guide an improvisation. Konrad Steiner talks about the experimental films of Stan Brakhage, which have been used by members of ROVA as inspiration for some of their works. More like this available at radiOM Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Jazz, Interview and Music
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Manfred Eicher, the founder and director of ECM Records. Topics discussed include the influence of ECM, its unique sound, and the work of its best known artists, including Keith Jarrett, Arvo Pärt, and Jan Garbarek. The advantages of certain recording techniques and venues are also mentioned. This Interview was recorded in June, 1985 in Munich Germany. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Jazz, ECM Records, Manfred Eicher
In another segment from KPFA’s all day broadcast celebrating its 40th anniversary, Charles Amirkhanian introduces a program of unusual “airchecks” (recordings made during a live broadcast), saved by KPFA producers during strategic moments. You will thrill to the sounds of Bill Schechner, who later went on to a career with NBC News, reading headlines from the wire services on April 1, 1978, complete with impertinent asides; Kris Welch in a confrontational interview with Wayne Dyer, author... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Current Events, Folk Music
Charles Amirkhanian introduces Lou Harrison, who then introduces two of his works. The first is Solstice, a ballet written for the Jean Erdman Dance Group and scored for flute, oboe, trumpet, 2 celli, bass, tack piano, and celesta. The second work is a collection of his Peace Pieces, recorded on August 17, 1968 at the Cabrillo Music Festival. All the Peace Pieces are political protest pieces. Topics: Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music
Harry Partch discusses receiving notariety using a scale of 43 separate tones and original instruments with references to his "Genesis of a Music." There is a brief introduction to "Twelve Intrusions," this recording which is played by five musicians under Partch's direction. The pieces are: Study in an Ancient Phrygian Scale, Study in the Ancient Greek Enharmonic Scale, The Rose, The Crane, The Wind, The Waterfall, The Letter, The Street, Vanity, Lover, Soldiers/War/Another... Topics: Interview and Music, Microtonal music, , Unconventional Instruments, Harry Partch Source: Other Minds
From a recording made in May of 1991, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Paul Dresher about his theatrical production, “Pioneer”, which "celebrates and exposes American explorers and the myths of the pioneering spirit." Several songs from the production are also heard. The two also discuss the difficulties in portraying offensive attitudes such as racial bigotry and the history of American colonialism. In the second half of the program is Charles and Paul are joined by Gerald Oshita... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Music Theatre
Oliver Lake gives a crash course in his personal history and writing for many bands and performance situations. Derk Richardson interviewed the composer and sax player at San Francisco’s Thick House in October, 2005. [This is ROVA: Arts un-edited camera footage.] Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Oliver Lake, Derk Richardson, Interview and Music
Broughton’s unique cinematic and poetic observations of the cosmic/comic human situation are reflected in this 1973 interview conducted by Charles Amirkhanian on the occasion of Broughton’s 60th birthday (November 10, 1973). Born in Modesto California, Broughton was one of the San Francisco poetry renaissance writers, and the maker of the prize-winning film, “The Bed”, among others. Broughton’s works are imbued with a sense of joy, magic, and childlike playfulness. In this program he... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Poetry, James Broughton
British composer, electronic music specialist, and program host, Richard Povall presents the final installment of his KPFA series, Stereochemistry, broadcast on August 27, 1990. This is a program of newly released computer music, poetry, theater, performance and technology driven art, as well as whatever else he could get his hands on, but always highlighting the use of technology in a creative way. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Performance Art, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
On September 14, 2005, Derk Richardson interviewed singer/violinist/composer Carla Kihlstedt at The Thick House in San Francisco. Kihlstedt studied music at Oberlin where her interests expanded from the classical repertoire to more improvisational and avant-garde music. In 1997 she co-founded the group Tin Hat Trio with Rob Burger and Mark Orton, and has also played with 2 Foot Yard and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. In this interview she speaks about her influences and her improvising concepts in... Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Interview and Music, Carla Kihlstedt
On June 27, 1969, Richard Maxfield, 42, jumped out of a window of the Figueroa Hotel in Los Angeles, ending his tragically short life during which he became known as one of the earliest and foremost electronic music composers. Maxfield studied at U. C. Berkeley, performed concerts widely, and taught at the New School in New York City and then at the San Francisco State University in the late 1960s. In this program, Charles Amirkhanian plays a selection from Maxfield’s vast output, including... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Richard Maxfield
From a program recorded in 1968, Tom Donahue interviews Frank Zappa about his life and work, and allows the irreverent rock star to present some of his favorite music. The ensuing free form program ranges from surf music, doo-wop, jazz, the blues, to the works of Pierre Boulez. The song selection is very informative for any fan of Zappa’s music, as one can easily trace the influence of all these styles on his own creative output, be it the cheesy harmonies of 1950s pop songs or the intricate... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Frank Zappa
Dan McClosky interviews Little Milton, the well-known blues guitarist and soul singer. Little Milton got his musical education, as did many rhythm and blues artists of his age, in the black churches of the South. In this wide ranging interview he describes his humble beginnings and his early fascination with the guitar, as well as discussing the various blues musicians that influenced him. The interview is peppered with excerpts of many of the songs and performers mentioned, including those by... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Little Milton
In March 1963, Pierre Boulez delivered an address to the Festival of Contemporary Arts at the University of Illinois in Urbana on the topic of music and poetry. After a brief introduction by Igor Stravinsky, Boulez reflects on his work with the texts of Stephane Mallarmé and on the challenge of relating those “two sacred monsters’, music and poetry. After tracing the history of setting poetry to music, Boulez defends his own “abstract” way of handling texts, all the while insisting... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Lecture, Panel Discussion, Pierre Boulez
Composer/percussionist/improviser Gino Robair gathers an improv-orchestra of 40 Bay Area improvisers to help him demonstrate his music and methods for his opera in progress called: I Norton Derk Richardson interviewed Robair at 21 Grand gallery in Oakland, on February 1, 2006. (This is Rova:Arts un-edited camera footage.) Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Interview and Music, Gino Robair
In a program originally recorded in May of 1963, Rolf Cahn and Phil Huffman talk to Texas bluesman Mance Lipscomb, about his life and music. He describes growing up as a Baptist in the South, the balance between singing and playing music, as well as the origins of many of his best known songs. Throughout the discussion, Lipscomb performs a number of both, famous and obscure, acoustic blues songs, often responding to requests by Huffman and Cahn, who sound as pleased as two cats in a fish pond... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Folk Music
Britain's John Storm Roberts, formally a writer with the East African Standard, a newspaper in Kenya, talks about the influence of African music in the Western Hemisphere, and the Caribbean in particular. Musical examples of a most unusual nature from his recently released Nonesuch Explorer Series record (H-72047) serve to illustrate his dialogue with Charles Amirkhanian. Mr. Roberts is also the author of Black Music of Two Worlds, published in September of 1972 by Praeger. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, World Music, African Music
On February 10, 1986, as part of it’s fund raising marathon, KPFA dedicated an entire day of programming to the music of Frank Zappa, including this four hour long segment, during which Zappa joined Charles Amirkhanian, live in the studio to talk about his work and his fight against censorship, as well as to take part in an hour long panel discussion on gang violence and its relationship to rock music and Satanism. Although much of the time is taken up with pleas for money, Zappa manages to... ( 1 reviews ) Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Frank Zappa
Recorded in 1974 by the Radio Nederland Transcription Service, a program about music and culture in the Netherlands. The program begins with a performance by, and interview with, Larry Weinstein, an American student at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort. Then, after a brief review of a book about how the theories of two 19th century American fringe scientists about the Earth being hollow and habitable on the inside influenced some of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, the program... Topics: Avant-garde, Interview and Music, 20th century classical
Laura Reichek of the Alcatraz Solidarity Committee introduces three elderly members of the Omaha Tribe who visited the KPFA studios on November 24, 1970, to record a short program of Omaha songs. The performers are Charles Edwards, Mark Merrick and Rudolph Clark of Macy, Nebraska, who came to Berkeley to help celebrate the first anniversary of the Indian landing of Alcatraz Island. The drum used in these songs is made of a wooden frame covered with cowhide. It weighs about 35 pounds and has a... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, World Music, Native American
Han Reiziger interviews the Dutch composer, Bernard van Beurden, and plays a number of his works. Beurden, who was born in 1933, and is not very well known in the United States, composes avant-garde music, often preferring to work with youth or amateur groups, rather than with professional orchestras. The result is often a less polished yet more vibrant performance, as is demonstrated on a number of the works played here. One can not help but feel that what Beurden has sacrificed in terms of... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, 20th Century Classical, Han Reiziger
Take a journey through the vineyards of France to the honky-tonks of America. Charles Amirkhanian talks with Kermit Lynch, Berkeley California based, wine importer extraordinaire, on the subject of French wines and the adventures in finding them. Mr. Lynch has documented his experiences in the book, “Adventures on the Wine Route: A Winebuyer’s Tour of France”. This book, which reads like a prose fantasy in parts, is a most engaging compilation of stories on the subject, and it has... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Kermit Lynch
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Marin Alsop, conductor of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Long Island Symphony, and her own group Concordia, which has commissioned a number of contemporary works. At the time of this interview she had just become the new director of the Cabrillo Music Festival. Marin Alsop studied under Leonard Bernstein about whom she shares some of her memories. Although born in New York, she has worked on the West Coast for many years and is very sympathetic to West Coast... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music
A live performance of “HubRenga”, an audience interactive music and poetry piece made possible by the communication between two computer networks. The collaborators in the creation of this piece are San Francisco Bay Area computer music band The Hub, novelist and musician Ramón Sender, and poets from a poetry conference of The Well (Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link), a pioneering electronic community that operates in the Bay Area facilitating communication between people interested in arts... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interactive Art, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, The Hub
Charles Amirkhanian talks to composer Benjamin Lees about his memories of living in Paris including playing chess with Marcel Duchamp and meeting other famous artists. We then hear the premier performance of Lees’ Concerto for brass choir and orchestra. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music,...
The Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College is well known for it ambitious schedule of activities. John Bischoff and Bruce Hale talk with Charles Amirkhanian about their new activity, a Center for Contemporary Art, which is proposed to operate out of Mills and will emphasize video works and instruction. Hale describes the difficulties video artists have in getting their work distributed, due to the fact that most artist can only afford to work with half inch tape while TV only broadcasts... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Modern Art, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer John Adams in February 1990 about his music, including his two orchestral works, “The Wound-Dresser” and “Fearful Symmetries”. The composer of the opera “Nixon in China” also delivers a progress report on his next opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer”, as well as discussing his affinity for working with small orchestras, and other sundry topics. Born in Worcester, Mass on February 15, 1947, Adams celebrated his 43rd birthday the week of this... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Opera, John Adams
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Berkeley songwriter and wine connoisseur Kermit Lynch, one of the country’s most highly respected importers of French wine. In a previous life, following his childhood in San Luis Obispo, and his unsuccessful foray into the treacherous world of academia at Fresno State University, Kermit moved to Berkeley, California, attended San Francisco State University, and was a founding member of a band called The Roaches (a name inspired perhaps by their better known... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Kermit Lynch
Composer Anthony Gnazzo introduces a number of his compositions, two of them finished especially for this program. Charles Amirkhanian plays his tape composition “Audience”, based on ambient sound recordings made in the garage and stairwell of the Oakland Museum, with his kitchen milk steamer at home, and at Marineworld/Africa USA. And the two just generally have fun in the KPFA studios. This is another funny and fantastic program by the dynamic duo of text-sound composition. (from KPFA... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Anthony Gnazzo, Charles...
Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer Phyllis Addison, who introduces a selection of her “environmental songs”. Addison studied at Mills College where she received a BA in composition and environmental science and an MFA in electronic music and recording media. Her background as a classical pianist and a rock keyboardist and singer inform her own pieces. In this program she presents a selection of commercially unavailable songs, composed using the first generation of digital samplers and... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Popular Music
In the first half of the program David Land discusses how he composes music, in the second half he talks about the upcoming Bang on a Can Festival in New York City. Lang is one of the founders of this well-known music festival. Lang discusses the travails of young composers trying to get their music played as well as the unfortunate friction between Uptown and Downtown music. Heard during the program are examples of Lang's orchestral and chamber music as well as two live performances of his... Topics: Speaking of Music series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Chamber Music, David Lang
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Dutch composer, pianist, and author Reinbert de Leeuw, recorded on November 10, 1983, as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series. De Leeuw performs and discusses the early piano music of Erik Satie, the performance of which has garnered the pianist a global reputation. De Leeuw’s particular interpretation of this music is quite different from the standard. His study of the life of Satie has given him many illuminating insights, some... ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, Classical Music, Reinbert de...
Specialists in New Music have long been associated with KPFA’s Music Department, be it John Rockwell, Alan Rich, Robert Erickson, Glen Glasow, or Charles Amirkhanian. But for intensity of production and richness of quality no term at KPFA was more productive than that of former Music Director Charles Shere who’s tenure at the station lasted from 1965 to 1967. Now the Music & Art critic for the Oakland Tribune, and a distinguished composer as well, Mr. Shere returns to the scene of his... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, New Music, Charles Shere
Avant-garde composer and radio producer, David Moss is a percussionist and vocalist. He combines slashing textured percussion rhythms with an unbelievable voice that veers wildly around language and meaning. In this program Moss discusses percussion and voice as the vanguard of change in contemporary music; his work with children; producing nationally syndicated radio programs on new music; his choice to live in Marlboro, Vermont; and the role of the composer/performer/improviser in the late... Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Jazz, David Moss
Charles Amirkhanian interviews German composer Dieter Schnebel. The program begins with Schnebel performing "Mouth Work", a sound poetry piece whose theory he later discusses in relation to the organs of articulation in the body. An unidentified orchestral piece, as well as "Schubert-Phantasie" is played for the audience, and the program concludes with another sound poetry piece performed by Schnebel. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Avant-Garde, Dieter Schnebel, Speaking of Music series
After listening to “In Woods for oboe, harp, and percussion” by American composer and pianist Leo Smit, Charles Amirkhanian then interviews the composer about his career and his relationship with other composers of the first half of the 20th century. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Leo Smit
From a recording made on February 4, 1988, Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer, performer, and video artist, Jack Briece about contemporary Finnish music. Works heard include compositions by Harri Wessman, Jarmo Sermilä, Paavo Heininen, Lepo Sumera, Usko Meriläinen, and other talented Finnish composers who’s works remain relatively unknown in the United States. Having become interested in the music of Finland he traveled to the country in 1985 and then again in 1987, after which he... Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music,...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews the visiting New York composer whose Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra has been recorded for RCA, and whose larger works are finding their places in the repertories of major orchestras the country over. Lees discusses his childhood in San Francisco, and the fact that none of his works have been performed in the Bay Area. Included in the program are the first movement of his Piano Sonata No. 4 performed by Gary Graffman, Symphony No. 3 (1968) performed by... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Orchestral Music, 20th Century Classical, Benjamin Lees
During this session of the Speaking of Music series formerly held at San Francisco's Exploratorium, Louis Andriessen discusses his works and plays excerpts for the audience. Selections heard include "On Jimmy Yancey", and "Hoketus". Topics: KPFA-FM, Speaking of Music series, Interview and Music, Minimalism, 20th Century Classical, Louis...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews the young Israeli composer Shulamit Ran. Ran studied with Paul Ben-Haim from 1960 to 1963 and then at the Mannes College of Music in New York from 1963 to 1967 as a pianist and composer. This recording was made on February 27, 1981 in Chicago, where Ran was currently teaching at the University of Chicago. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, Chamber Music, Art Songs, Shulamit Ran
Shulamit Ran is an Israeli-American composer and long time member of the faculty at the University of Chicago. Her music’s expansive and dramatic nature make her a very interesting composer. In this program, recorded on December 1, 1983, as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series, Ran presents recordings of her “Apprehensions” a setting for a text of Sylvia Plath’s poetry, and “Fanfare” for two multi-tracked sopranos. In addition clarinetist Laurel Hall... Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical,...
Recorded on March 8, 1984 as part of the San Francisco’s Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series Charles Amirkhanian interviews avant-garde vocalist Joan La Barbara before a live audience. Joan La Barbara talks about her evolution from a singer of the classical repertoire to one that focuses on experimental and new music. She also discusses the difference between public support for the arts in America and Europe. Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, New Music, Joan La Barbara
In honor of Imbrie's 50th birthday Charles Amirkhanian interviews the composer Andrew Imbrie and San Francisco Chronicle music critic Robert Commanday. Topics discussed include Imbrie's early influences; neoclassicism vs. romanticism. Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Andrew Imbrie
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Bay Area composer Charles Boone about his early musical career, starting as a member of a high school band, then as a student at USC. He also studied with Ernst Krenek and Adolph Weiss in Los Angeles. Here he introduces a number of his pieces, including “Raspberries” for percussion ensemble. Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, 20th Century...